ADVANCE REVEW: “The Regular Show #12” Rollicking Ride of ’90s Nostalgia

(w) KC Green  (a) Allison Strejlau $3.99 BOOM! Studios
(w) KC Green
(a) Allison Strejlau
$3.99
BOOM! Studios

The Regular Show is part of Cartoon Network’s movement into cartoons that are not just for kids. The Regular Show and Adventure Time capture the nostalgic and often idyllic comedy stylings of the twenty/thirty-something creators through their use of pop-culture references and animation styles. The thing with these shows is that they have the capability to be shown to an audience of children, but they can be just as accessible to more mature audiences. The accompanying comic, much like the comic for Adventure Time, complements the series in a great way, allowing the reader a further glance into the lives of Mordecai and Rigby, as well as giving some awesome artists and writers the chance to shine.

“Regular Show #12,” like many cartoon tie-ins from KaBOOM! Studios, features a main story and a short back-up story, as well as four variant covers by Matt Cummings, Felicia Choo, Jon Morris and Manuel Kilger. The main story is written by KC Green and illustrated by Allison Strejlau and features colors by Whitney Cogar. The main story is the conclusion of a previous story-line, and follows Mordecai, Hi Five Ghost, Benson and Skips as they struggle to free Rigby from the Spirit of the ’90s. How do they have to free him? By facing off against him in a massive game of pogs! Meanwhile, Pops has been caring for Muscle Man who found himself trapped in a Tamagotchi toy. Bath Mat, the back-up story, written by Kevin Burkhalter and illustrated by Carey Pietsch, follows Benson as he stays with Pops and Muscle Man while his house is being fumigated. After a long day at work, Benson wants nothing more than a hot bath. However, rooming with Pops and Muscle Man means that nothing is quite that easy! Benson bravely adventures into the bathroom after Muscle Man and finds it in a state of disorder, and winds up fighting a layer of grime and ick in the bathtub. At work the next day, he gets his revenge by setting Muscle Man and Skips on bathroom duty!

While #12 may be a slightly difficult place for new fans to jump on (especially because it’s near the end of the story, and offers little-to-no explanation of the world of Regular Show) but for pre-existing fans of the show, it’s a riot! I love The Regular Show TV series, and while this is the first time I’ve read the comics, I found that it’s a great reflection of the show and its humor, but done in a more serial, connected format. The ’90s nostalgia and hilarity is well at home in the comic version (as seen in the Pog battle!) and the thinly-veiled references work really well within the confines of the comic. #12 captures the sort of silly nostalgia and surreal happenings that make the show such a hit. The main story was funny and smart, and well written by Green, but it overly relied on action scenes to propel the issue and the story. The characters’ dialogue all fit perfectly, they maintained their own voices, and they felt exactly like they did in the show. The humor and action flowed really well, and the moments of ’90s nostalgia meshed with the fast-moving action and tense moments of the book. Reading the comic felt just like watching an episode of the show. The illustration, by Allison Strejlau and colors by Whitney Cogar differ greatly from the standard type of animation seen in Regular Show, but this difference seems to work well. Strejlau uses a combination of bold, thick lines to show movement and give definition to the action scenes, and when coupled with the thinly lined detailed backgrounds, it works very well. Colorist Cogar uses a variety of dark and lighter colors during the pog battle which offer a mystical feel, as well as imitating the show’s color palette.

Bath Mat is a great addition to the main story, and plays out like a comedy sketch that could easily be in the show at any point. Not only that, but the comedy really pays off- it’s hilarious! Writer [Kevin] Burkhalter demonstrates an ability to write good short comics, and the ending fit in perfectly, as well as acting as a great way to wrap the comic up. Carey Pietsch’s cutesy illustrations and pastel coloring looks adorable, and is a unique take on the Regular Show world.

Verdict:

For fans of Regular Show, issue #12 is a rollicking ride of ’90s nostalgia and hilarity, complete with the usual surreal humor that the fans of the show have come to expect, which is brought to life by the ace creative teams on the book.

“The Regular Show #12” earns a 7/10